Meet Ludovico Apollonio, with the help of Ecomhunt winning products he was able to scale his online store to 6 figures in only 3 months!
We spoke to Ludo and got for you an exclusive interview with all the juicy details about his success!
Tell us about yourself
My name is Ludovico (Ludo, for everyone) born in South of Italy, and I’m 26 years old.
After I got my Economics degree at the University of Rome, I came back to my city and started a real estate company. My dad bought an old palace and I completely renovated it. In this palace, I built 21 apartments that I rented with Airbnb, Booking, etc. This was a completely new business for me.
When I started, I had no idea what I was doing… I had to work 15 hours per day, during the day managing my workers, buying materials, going all around the city with my pick-up to get furniture at the lowest possible price because we didn’t have too much budget. During the night, I focused on the online side of the business by creating listings and closing agreements with real estate sharks because we needed “traffic” to our apartments in order to survive.
After two years of hard work, everything was completely automated. The apartments were ready, I had “traffic” from all of the agreements I closed and my apartments were now everywhere online. I have created all of the templates for the customer service, hired two full time receptionists and all the needed staff for it to work without any flaws.
I just needed to manage the prices of my apartments online and that’s basically it. Finally, I had a lot of free time and my first ever asset was ready.
How did you get started with dropshipping?
I was looking to start another business, something which won’t restrict me to Italy, something global. So I started to look around and I noticed that in the US, young guys were doing incredible numbers with different businesses online.
So after a long time researching, I discovered the whole Dropshipping world in 2017. I then began watching all of the free Youtube videos but it was really complicated for me because I was more of an “Offline” guy and didn’t know anything about the Ecommerce world.
I then started and quickly failed many times with my general store. Everything I was doing was wrong, from the copy of the product pages to the bad layout of the store. Also, I was using a terrible theme I purchased and because of that my store was loading really slow.
What kept you motivated?
After some time, I met a friend of mine in Milan who is now my actual business partner. At that time he was already doing affiliate marketing with private partners in Italy and business was good! He introduced me to affiliate marketing that was similar to the Ecommerce business and taught me a lot of things I didn’t know like how to create good video ads, landing pages and more.
Then, we moved together to Barcelona and I re-started this whole dropshipping business. Unfortunately, my friend had a different business he had to take care of so we split for a few months.
So this time I have built again a general store and began testing different products every day hoping that with the knowledge I had now, I will be successful. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any results and everything that my friend taught me wasn’t enough to sell and be profitable in the US market.
I needed to focus more on the right products…
What was your turning point?
At that time, I was focusing on random super saturated products and burning thousands of dollars with almost no results but a few unprofitable sales. But after watching some videos on Youtube, I discovered Ecomhunt from a video review I saw and it was then when I decided to sign up.
I instantly discovered some fresh products and it was a really big time saver for me at that time!
My now new strategy was to test EcomHunt old winning products from 2016 which weren’t all saturated and had plenty of more sales to get from. I knew there was enough room to make more money because Facebook audiences are always refreshed and grow more every year.
This strategy worked and finally I saw some profit and this motivated me to continue testing more products.
EcomHunt was a blessing for me at that time which allowed me to easily find products and save a lot of time. In the end, my first general store was making around 50k per month, with 15% – 18% profit margins, all thanks to EcomHunt.
Let’s talk about numbers – What was your sales record?
My record was 200k in sales in one month. I was looking for products on EcomHunt and on one of the first pages I saw a very niche-oriented product. Upon checking, I realized it had a very passionate audience but I knew that a lot of people were already selling this product. I decided to look for a similar product because I didn’t want to test the same exact product. And after searching a bit, I found a very similar product in the same niche but with different characteristics.
I quickly created a good video ad and launched it only to the US audience. Facebook & Instagram feeds only with 1 day click window. We had 5 adsets, each with a $20 daily budget and each adset had 4 video ads. It was the same video ad but each time with a different copy or thumbnail.
I was confident enough in my abilities to read and analyze the data I get because I already scaled products with Facebook ads to a maximum 50k a month. So I launched it and waited for the results to come in.
After six days of testing, the product I tested was profitable and it was time to scale!
I felt a bit more excited than usual because deep down I knew this one is going to be HUGE winner! I knew it because people were buying many of the same items, so my average order value was pretty high. And every audience I tested was bringing me sales so I knew the potential was really big.
We launched CBO and Manual bid campaigns to different audiences and countries. In non-english speaking countries, we had to translate everything in order to sell our product there and that’s exactly what we did. We jumped from spanish countries to french ones, from Canada to Finland, we were selling internationally and that was really cool!
In the end, we made $506,000 in sales in only three months with our store
5 tips to someone who’s just getting started?
These are my five tips for someone who wants to start a dropshipping business:
- Focus on WOW effect products that save time and money for our customers
- Take advantage of EcomHunt and other useful softwares that finds the right products for you. Finding products takes time and this time should be spent on other more important tasks.
- Don’t install thousands of apps on your Shopify store – Keep it clean and fast to increase the conversion rate by providing better shopping experience to our customers.
- You need the right PRODUCT shown to the RIGHT AUDIENCE with the RIGHT OFFER. Work on these and don’t give up after spending $20 on Fb ads.
- Cashflow is EVERYTHING! If Paypal or Stripe blocks your account, your business stops. Keep a healthy relationship with these two. How do you do this? Answer to any dispute in max 2 hours and ask your supplier to sign a sales document to later provide when Paypal or Stripe asks you for it(usually when you scale big).
So, What’s Next?
After having success in the E-commerce world with our online stores, we’ve launched EcomAcademy which is the first online academy that teaches Ecom for the Italian market. From theory to actual practice with live examples and real results.
EcomAcademy teaches step by step how to open, create and scale an E-commerce business. We even provide our high-converting custom theme to our students that we use ourselves for our online stores. Our academy is doing really well and we already have successful students who were able to leave there regular jobs and do ecommerce full time.
In December, EcomAcademy will be featured in Forbes and Millionaire.it(the best Italian magazine for business). And in January 2020, EcomAcademy is going to be translated to Spanish and English and we’ll go worldwide!
Back to our online stores – We have a team of people working for us from different countries like India, United Kingdom and Venezuela so we have it all automated right now. We’re launching new e-commerce stores for the Brazilian market and to our local Italian market which are pretty much still untapped!
The US market is still our main source of income but it’s important to get out of the comfort zone and test new markets and expand.
The the sky is the limit – Keep testing and results will arrive sooner or later!